Now they are many people debating and fighting regarding what to eat and what not to eat. But is it really difficult to know what we eat as Vaishnavas!?
Our Archaya and Founder of ISKCON gave us clear instructions what we need to offer Krishna. So when he said that Krishna wants milk , why not offer Him!?
Many leaders in the institution are living a vegan lifestyle like Sivarama Swami, Devamrta Swami, Hrdayananda Swami and others and are also promoting to stop drinking milk because they say “it’s not ahimsa”, but what would Prabhupada say!?
For my part I can understand that because for myself I was following the vegan style of life. But again even if the milk is poisoned with animal ingredients and the cow was not treated well, we have to give Krishna what He wants.
Srila Prabhupada was well aware of the bad conditions that cows are suffering from:
Although the cow is beneficial because one can draw religious principles from her, she was now rendered poor and calfless. Her legs were being beaten by a śūdra. There were tears in her eyes, and she was distressed and weak. She was hankering after some grass in the field.
The next symptom of the Age of Kali is the distressed condition of the cow. Milking the cow means drawing the principles of religion in a liquid form. The greatṛṣisandmuniswould live only on milk. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī would go to a householder while he was milking a cow, and he would simply take a little quantity of it for subsistence. Even fifty years ago, no one would deprive asādhuof a quart or two of milk, and every householder would give milk like water. For a Sanātanist (a follower of Vedic principles) it is the duty of every householder to have cows and bulls as household paraphernalia, not only for drinking milk, but also for deriving religious principles. The Sanātanist worships cows on religious principles and respectsbrāhmaṇas.The cow’s milk is required for the sacrificial fire, and by performing sacrifices the householder can be happy. The cow’s calf not only is beautiful to look at, but also gives satisfaction to the cow, and so she delivers as much milk as possible. But in the Kali-yuga, the calves are separated from the cows as early as possible for purposes which may not be mentioned in these pages ofŚrīmad-Bhāgavatam.The cow stands with tears in her eyes, theśūdramilkman draws milk from the cow artificially, and when there is no milk the cow is sent to be slaughtered. These greatly sinful acts are responsible for all the troubles in present society. People do not know what they are doing in the name of economic development. The influence of Kali will keep them in the darkness of ignorance. Despite all endeavors for peace and prosperity, they must try to see the cows and the bulls happy in all respects. Foolish people do not know how one earns happiness by making the cows and bulls happy, but it is a fact by the law of nature. Let us take it from the authority ofŚrīmad-Bhāgavatamand adopt the principles for the total happiness of humanity.
Prabhupada had also mentioned many times the importance of cows and milk on so many occasions.
“By friction one can get fire from wood, by digging the earth one can get food grains and water, and by agitating the milk bag of the cow one can get nectarean milk. Milkis compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to beimportant, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities ofmilk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinkingmilk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected,milkshould be drawn from the cows, and thismilkshould be prepared in various ways. One should take amplemilk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectareanmilkfrom theirmilkbags.”
We find here that milk is really meant for the health of our brain so we can understand spiritual topics and engage ourselves in devotional activities.
“If we really want to cultivate the human spirit in society we must have first-class intelligent men to guide the society, and to develop the finer tissues of our brains we must assimilate vitamin values from milk. Devotees worship Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa by addressing Him as the well-wisher of the brāhmaṇas and the cows. The most intelligent class of men, who have perfectly attained knowledge in spiritual values, are called the brāhmaṇas. No society can improve in transcendental knowledge without the guidance of such first-class men, and no brain can assimilate the subtle form of knowledge without fine brain tissues.For suchimportantbrain tissues we require a sufficient quantity of milk and milk preparations. Ultimately, we need to protect the cow to derive the highest benefit from thisimportantanimal. The protection of cows, therefore, is not merely a religious sentiment but a means to secure the highest benefit for human society.”
“Vaiśya means they should take care of the cows, cow protection, go-rakṣya. Why go-rakṣya? Why not other animal rakṣya? Kṛṣṇa has not said “animal rakṣya” or “janawal-(?) rakṣya.” Go-rakṣya. The cow is very, veryimportantanimal. If you want to advance your spiritual consciousness, thenyou must have sufficientmilkand sufficient grains. That is civilization.
Cows must be protected. It is so important animal. It is giving the you nectarean food milk, and from milk, you can save your children, you can save your diseased persons.”
Here it is clearly stated that we really need milk to develop our brain so we can receive transcendental knowledge. So for advancement in spiritual knowledge we need to protect cows and take milk from her. If we don’t have such ahimsa milk we can take also normal dairy or also organic milk. But unfortunately the FISKCON devotees cannot understand: “Why, why not be vegan like the big swamis in ISKCON!?”
Devotee (7):Would it be better if we gave up eating vegetables?
Prabhupāda:You cannot eat anything acceptKṛṣṇaprasādam. Even if we eat vegetables, that is also sin.Bhagavad-gītāclearly says,bhuñjatetetvaghampāpā,yepacantyātma–kāraṇāt[Bg.3.13]. If you prepare very nice pure foodstuff for eating yourself, then still you are eating sins. You have to prepare anything very nicely, offer it toKṛṣṇa, then you take, then you will be free from all sin.Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo. Even there is sin… Sin there must be. Just like you are cooking, you are taking water from the jug, there are so many germs you are killing. The killing responsibility is there. In the higher sense, “Thou shalt not kill”, means you have to take theprasādamofKṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda:Otherwise, even you do ordinary killing, vegetable killing, you are killing so many germs. So in higher sense if you take this principle ofBible, “Thou shalt not kill,” that means you must eatKṛṣṇaprasādam, otherwise you will be killing. And whichever you do, it will be killing. So our process is perfect, takeKṛṣṇaprasādam. Hm?
Viśākhā:What happens to thejīvasouls who were fruits and vegetables that were offered toKṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda:Yes, there isjīvaalso. I say that even vegetable you are killing, but that killing responsibility goes toKṛṣṇa. We are killing forKṛṣṇa. Suppose in the vegetable there is life, but we are preparing food forKṛṣṇa.
Nara–Nārāyaṇa:I think she wants to know what happens to the soul. Supposing that a plant, we are killing the plant and offering inprasādamtoKṛṣṇa. Thejīvasoul who is living in the plant, what happens to him?
Prabhupāda:Because he is killed for Kṛṣṇa’s purpose so he gets immediately liberation.
Devotee (lady):This is a very sinful life they’re living unless we offer everything toKṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda:Well, liberation not always means that he goes directly. In the lower stage liberation means to come out of the lower stage to the human form of body. Then he gets chance for directly servingKṛṣṇa, then real liberation takes place. [break] (indistinct) All right. (end)
Here we see the Jīva gets liberation from the plant or animal life by the offering procedure. Every offering we do with milk the cow is automatically benefited with a human birth.
Prabhupada said also that cow milk is meant for humans (besides calves of course):
The grains, the fruits, the vegetables, so many things. They are meant for human being. The grains are not meant for the tigers. The grains are meant for the human being. The fruits are meant for the dogs. The fruits are meant for the human being. The milk. The milk is produced by the cow, but it is not meant for the cow. It is meant for the human being. If you offer the milk, 30 pounds of milk, after milking the cow, and if you offer to the cow, it will refuse. It will refuse, “I don’t want it.” Give it dry grass? Oh, it will be very glad.